Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara yesterday admitted that Barcelona will always be his home, when questioned on a return to Catalonia.
Thiago, brother of current Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, joined Barca’s youth setup in 2005, before breaking into the club’s first-team in 2009.
However, his emergence coincided with a spell during which one of the greatest midfields of all-time were plying their trade at the Camp Nou, with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and more having made the pathway to regular minutes a tough one for Thiago.
Nevertheless, during his time spent on the pitch, the technically-gifted midfield dynamo looked a genuine talent, with many fans of the club having earmarked Thiago as the natural heir to Xavi.
As a result, it came as a hammer blow to many of the Camp Nou faithful when their classy youngster was sold to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich for just 25 million Euro in 2013.
It is in Germany that Thiago has truly flourished, with his reunion with Pep Guardiola having allowed the 23-time capped Spanish international to fully express himself on the pitch.
He has since developed into a key man for the Bavarians, and racked up 8 goals and 8 assists between the league and Champions league last season.
However, the board at the Allianz Arena may now be set for a fight to hold onto their creative gem, with rumours intensifying that Thiago could be set for a return to La Liga.
Barcelona are known to be on the lookout for creative reinforcements in midfield, having chased Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho for most of the summer.
Thiago is viewed as a cheaper and more realistic target, though, and a number of reports across both Spain and Germany have linked the Spaniard with a switch to the Camp Nou over the past couple of weeks.
When questioned on the possibility of returning to the Camp Nou during an interview with Catalunya Radio yesterday, the midfielder himself did little to discourage the building rumours:
‘Barcelona will always be my home, not just because I love the club, but also the city.’
‘I will always look at it with affection. You never know if I will return because I am really happy at Bayern, but football changes a lot. Anything can happen.’